Who we are

Summer Plans for the Tea Man

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We introduced Guisepe Spadafora, the Tea Man, several months ago.  Guisepe and his traveling Tea Bus continue to spread hope, to lend a hand and to spur community organization in several western U.S. states.  If you are not familiar with his work, take a look at his website or the videos and news coverage of his endeavor (which has been on-going for more than a decade!).

Guisepe is putting together his plans for summer 2017 and would like our input as noted below.

  • I want to know where we should visit, whom we should see, and where we should serve tea.
  • Second, I am looking for a place to call home base for the summer in Colorado. Where can Edna, myself, and Ally plug into that wants good company, a handy man, and a community organizer?
  • Thirdly, I am looking for a good project or two to plug into for a month or two. I would love to help fix or build anything, especially if it has to do with small-scale, mobile, off-grid, low-cost, DIY, eco-friendly, and reclaimed projects.

Guisepe is the kind of person who infuses the phrase “we, the people” with real, tangible meaning.  Thank you, Guisepe!

If you really want to help us become Us, explore Guisepe’s story.  Take it as a model of personal initiative in the name of us all.  If nothing else, you might simply find the inspiration that sparks an idea of change for yourself.

 

Locally Green

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“Let’s get together and make the world a better place!”  We often hear such sentiments.  Sometimes we even hear ourselves uttering these words.  As often as not they are just words, but some folks infuse their words with purpose and follow-through.  The people associated with Square Roots Grow just might be some of those people.

Launched in August 2016 by co-founders Tobias Peggs and Kimbal Musk (brother of entrepreneur Elon Musk), Square Roots Grow describes itself as representing “an urban farming accelerator powered by human ingenuity, technology, and most importantly a deep love for local, real food.”  Eh…OK…So what is it—really?  Well, can you image ten, two-acre farms in Brooklyn, NY—in a parking lot no less?  CEO Tobias Peggs describes the plan.

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An Interview with Noam Chomsky

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In a 70-minute Democracy Now! interview with linguist and political theorist Noam Chomsky, Mr. Chomsky addresses a wide range of topics, including the current U.S. presidential administration’s tactics, healthcare, Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election, as well as issues related to North Korea, China, Syria, and Israel.

Mr. Chomsky offers what, for some, will seem startling statements regarding the rise of neo-liberalism during the late 70’s.  While the term “liberalism” often connotes “openness” and “freedom”, the interests of advocates of neo-liberalism (perhaps better referred to as laissez-faire economic liberalism) come into conflict with the very notion of democracy—that is, free participation of the general public in its own governance.

On many social issues, proponents of this form of liberalism might be at odds with what many might call right wing or conservative.  However, these neo-liberal factions began to see open democracy as “out of control”, posing a “threat” to the achievement of a neo-liberal agenda.  According to Mr. Chomsky, these socio-political elements called for stronger indoctrination in neo-liberal ideas through educational institutions, a more heavy handed control of mass media and the overall pacification of the general public.

Along the way, Mr. Chomsky also touches on topics such as (1) why Americans are led to believe Iran poses the greatest threat to world peace while world opinion sees the U.S. as the true threat, (2) the surprising increase in mortality among white Americans (particularly men, due to diseases of despair), and (3) the disparity between actual U.S. governmental policies and the well-being of middle and lower income portions of the American electorate.

Agree with him or not, as always, Mr. Chomsky offers interesting and provocative ideas worth considering.


Noam Chomsky is a US political theorist and activist, and institute professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). For decades, Mr. Chomsky has remained a staunch critic of American foreign policy, the neo-liberal advocacy of globalism, the empire-building hegemony of the United States and the manufacture of public consensus by the so-called mainstream media (MSM).

Noam Chomsky’s website

The full collection of Mr. Chomsky’s appearances on DemocracyNow!

Objectivity, Neutrality and Truth

Trust in “news” as well as other sources of “truth” is a developing topic here at seekingGood.  When does conviction stand in the way of objectivity, or does it? Can it be that not taking a stand endangers objectivity, rendering us complicit in a lie?  When does a habit of normalizing acquiescence result in notions of “truth” we might abhor under other circumstances?  Sound complicated?  It is. (If nuance is your cup of tea, here is a story for you).

Lewis Wallace, a former journalist for Marketplace, attempted to draw attention to these issues—and was fired.  The first video presents a brief overview of Mr. Wallace’s situation.

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This second video presents a more in-depth description, as well as Mr. Wallace reading the blog post that created the stir.

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We should all ponder the pitfalls of neutrality as we attempt to find Good in this new Public Space of contemporary life.  Want more on these issues of media reliability?  Explore these stories.

A National Conversation

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Public radio station WNYC is broadcasting a series of live, call-in programs called “Indivisible”.  The series is scheduled for four days a week, at 9pm EST, Monday thru Thursday during the first 100 days of the new presidential administration.  Anyone can call in to discuss the topic of the night at one of 130 radio stations across the country.  You can listen live or hear past shows.  If nothing else, these shows can help us all break out of our respective ideological cocoons and hear other viewpoints.  The shows are thought provoking to say the least.  Tip: Focus on a caller who does not share your views and imagine that the voice is coming from an real person, with feelings, hopes and disappointments—just like you and me.